The Whole Internet Now Knows Where Your Cat Lives
If you are cat owner, you
probably take pictures of your cat(s) and put them on the internet (a lot). If you happen to have posted these photos with location data on public photo sharing sites there is a good chance that Professor Owen Mundy’s supercomputer at Florida State University has found them and shared them with the rest of the internet.
iknowwhereyourcatlives.com contains 1 million public pictures of cats found using metadata embeded in the photos. The project has hunted through the present existing database of 15 million images tagged with the word “cat” and locates them on a world map by using the latitude and longitude coordinates.
According to Mundy, the purpose of the project is to explore the “sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all.”
If you feel thoroughly creeped out right now or concerned that you might have forgotten to turn off location data for posts on your favorite social media sites, rest assured. Professor Mundy has considered the privacy of us crazy cat lovers, the site does not store usernames, share, or sell information. The site will also not show your exact address but a more general area.
And of course, the title image of this post is a picture of my cat, Khan.